Pakistan, Lanka target $1 bn trade
Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Thursday decided to work together to
achieve the target of US$ one billion in bilateral trade in the next few
years, the News Network International (NNI) news agency reported.
The two countries reached an agreement during the bilateral talks
between Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and his Pakistani
counterpart Inam ul Haque, a Foreign Office statement said.
Both sides recognised the need to expand the scope of the FTA by
including trade in services, investment and trade facilitation. Minister
Bogollagama highlighted the need to conclude a Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.
“The discussions also covered some specific areas for trade
promotion, joint ventures and investments,” said the statement. The
talks covered bilateral, regional and international issues and the
Ministers noted the similarity of views on issues of promotion of peace,
regional stability and socio-economic progress, the statement said.
Both of them affirmed their resolve to further strengthen the already
existing bilateral cooperation in various fields including trade,
education, culture, tourism and defence between the two countries.
The two sides expressed their resolve to combat extremism and
terrorism for preserving shared global values of peace, progress and
They agreed on the need to increase people to people contact by
focusing on religious tourism from Sri Lanka to various Buddhist sites
The Ministers expressed happiness over the excellent relations
between the two countries.
The Pakistan Minister said that the request of Sri Lanka for long
term multiple entry visas for bona fide businessmen is favourably
considered and in this regard necessary instructions will be issued for
Further the Pakistan side informed that Sri Lanka’s request for
reducing work visa fee for Sri Lankan workers in Pakistan on a
reciprocal basis will be communicated to the concerned authorities for
The two Ministers also agreed to expedite conclusion of the Agreement
on exemption of visa for diplomats and officials of the two countries.
The Sri Lankan Minister stressed the need for effective connectivity
measures between the two countries and proposed a liberal and flexible
air services arrangement between the two countries.
The Pakistan side informed that the bilateral meeting on air services
which will be held soon in Pakistan will look into the possibilities of
revising the existing Agreement. The Ministers also felt the need to
revive the shipping service between the two countries.